Children with Autism: How to Make Long Car Rides Easy

Photo: (Photo : Unsplash/Dino Reichmuth)

Adults and children alike may get bored in long car rides. While everyone is excited to reach the destination, the long hours you have to wait could jeopardize the much-awaited vacation. Children with autism have a harder time adapting to changes, which make parents think twice before traveling with their children with special needs. 

Here are ways to make road trips fun and exciting for everyone. 

Prepare what you need

Children love playing with things that adults use. Although toys could make them busy, you could also use your everyday things to make sure that they are entertained. A behind-the-seat organizer could keep your little one busy for hours. Use it to store your child's things so you could focus on your driving. 

Bring your kids' favorite toys or stuff but bring them out only when your children start to show signs of boredom. Make sure to bring snacks and water so you could refuel your little ones' tummies while on the road. 

ALSO READ: Recent Study Suggests Children with Autism Could Benefit From Pet Cats

Play their favorite music

Music helps calm anyone's soul. By playing their fave music or lullaby, you help them focus on the music rather than the long car ride. 

Schedule your trip wisely

Plan your trip around times when your children take naps or at night so your child would be asleep during most of the trip. 

Test the waters

Before you head out on your long car ride, try going on a shorter trip first and see how your child would act. It helps get your child ready for long trips and helps make her get used to riding a car for a long time. 

READ MORE: Children With Autism at Higher Risk of Developing Mental Health Conditions, Study Proves

Take frequent stops

Stop at gas stations or parks so your child could waste some energy outside. Children with autism spectrum disorder have consistently high energy, so letting them out could help them use the extra energy they have inside. When they get back to your car, they may be ready to take naps after tiring themselves out. 

Have a seating arrangement

Setting the seating plan could help you and your children, especially when your child with special needs favors one of his siblings than the others. By making sure they sit beside one another and sticking to the seating arrangement, you could prevent yourself from handling an avoidable difficult situation. 

READ NEXT: Children with Special Needs: Getting to Know the 13 Categories of Disabilities

Prepare games on the road

You could prepare different enjoyable games during the trip. You could also make the long car ride enjoyable for everyone by using the surroundings outside of the car. 

Help them stay calm

A favorite blanket or stuffed toy could calm your child in an instant. You could also use vibrating massages because it helps calm and relax a person. Bring your child's favorite teether or vibrating bean bags when needed. 

Take note of your kids' sensitivities

Children with autism could be more sensitive to sights and sounds than others. Make sure to bring noise-blocking headphones or a shade so you could avoid triggering their sensitivities. 

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